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Hey Blues Fans,
This week we feature more videos of 2010 Blues Blast Music Awards nominees including clips from 2010 nominees The Holmes Brothers , Tommy Castro, Jackie Scott & The Housewreckers and The The Shaun Murphy Band. SCROLL DOWN!
For a complete list of 2010 BBMA nominees CLICK HERE. Check out these videos to see why these great artists were nominated. For more information and to purchase tickets to the 2010 Blues Blast Music Awards on Thursday October 28th 2010 at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, CLICK HERE or see the ad below in this issue.
And speaking of Blues Award nominees, the 2010 British Blues Awards were announced on September 13th at the Newark Blues Festival in Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands region of England. Our good friend and Blues Blast contributor Ian McKenzie passes on word of the big winners including Blues young guns Joanne Shaw Taylor, Oli Brown and Matt Schofield. For a complete list of the winners CLICK HERE
This week we caught a show by 2010 Blues Music Award winner Johnny Rawls. It was our first opportunity to catch this great artists live. Johnny and his band put on a great set of Soul Blues to a full house.
In This Issue
We have five new CD reviews this week! James "Skyy Dobro" Walker reviews a new CD by Jay Gaunt. Ian McKenzie reviews a new CD by Chris Bell. Mark Thompson reviews a new CD from Better Off Dead. Greg "Bluesdog" Szalony reviews a new CD by Blues Buddha. Gary Weeks reviews a new CD by Rory Gallagher All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!
Stoopid Daddy Records Ltd. presents a new CD by
I Like It A Lot
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Featured Blues Review 1 of 5
Jay Gaunt - Harmonicopia
12 tracks; 49:03 minutes; Suggested
Styles: Harmonica led instrumentals, Full Band Blues
Harmonica phenom Jay Gaunt is only sixteen years old, and he has already opened a fifty year old can of worms by claiming that Memphis can rightly be called the “Home of the Blues.” In a killer Blues song “Home of the Blues,” the lyrics politely allow choice, “...Chicago and New Orleans might be the place you choose; to me Memphis is the one and only home of the Blues.” One thing missing is objective criteria for making that choice. Answer these:
1) Which city has the largest number of steadily-working Blues musicians?
2) Where can you hear live Blues music seven days per week, 365 days per year, in multiple
clubs devoted entirely to the Blues?
3) Which city has the largest free Blues Festival every year?
4) Which city has the most active and influential Blues record labels?
5) To which city do guitarists, harp players, drummers, and vocalists from all over the U.S.
and the world relocate just to play the Blues?
The answers are in a 1936 song by Robert Johnson, “Sweet Home CHICAGO.” Oh, well, it’s just a fun rivalry anyway. And, to be fair, Jay Gaunt, from Mahwah NJ, didn’t write the lyrics, one of the producers did, Memphis maven Charley Burch.
The buyers of this highly recommended CD, Gaunt’s second, get a two-fer. There are seven instrumentals in an impressive variety of styles, and the other five songs feature Memphis vocalist Victor Wainwright nailing each with tough, growling, emotionally powerful singing. Recorded at the late Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios, Gaunt is backed by a competent all-Memphis crew: guitarists Josh Roberts, Skip Pitts, and Dave Cousar, keyboardists Lester Snell and Rick Steff, bassist Dave Smith, and drummer Steve Potts along with the Royal Horns and New Memphis Strings. Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell adds percussion and joins Burch producing along with harp standout Jason Ricci who co-produces six songs.
First aired on our “Friends of the Blues Radio Show” was one of the Blues-with-vocals numbers, Bobby Charles’s “Why People Like That?”, featuring the Reba Russell Band’s Josh Roberts on slide guitar. Gaunt steps back for Roberts to take a tasty mid-song slide solo; he then trades back-and-forth licks with Josh in the glorious, final eighty-one seconds of the song. Wainwright’s authentic questioning of selfish people’s motives implies “he” wrote it!
Muddy Waters’ “Louisiana Blues” is given a complete band workout with Bayou night sounds courtesy of North Mississippi Allstars drummer Cody Dickinson on electric washboard. Gaunt excels at channeling and interpreting the original harp of Little Walter. For a quicker tempo, try Jay honking his way through “Devil Dealt the Blues.”
The most unexpected instrumental is a lush production of year 1580’s English ballad, “Greensleeves.” Hearing the CD, my wife hollered in from the other room, “This is a Christmas song and started singing, ‘What child is this...’!” Indeed, the 1865 lyrics to “What Child...” were set to music borrowed/stolen from “Greensleeves.” Gaunt opens on a Harrison Harmonica (a brand claiming to be the only American made harp) blowing pure, clear notes while Lyrika Holmes on a real harp adds beautiful background string work. In amazing harmony, Lester Snell on B3/Wurlitzer keyboards mimics the ending string-harp lines making this jazzy shuffle a real standout.
Allman Brothers fans can name that song in five notes or less (?), instantly recognizing this instrumental version of “Midnight Rider.” Allowing Pitts’s guitar, the Memphis Strings and Royal Horns to open first and set the background, Jay recapitulates Gregg Allman’s vocals using pure tones across the melody with no fuzz.
Absolutely killer is “Double Shuffle” featuring fellow harper Brandon Bailey alternately trading honks and playing harmony with Gaunt.
Across this wonderful CD, I had to keep reminding myself, “Jay Gaunt is only sixteen!” Harmonica Blues is in creative hands, indeed. .
Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and longtime Blues Blast Magazine contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at www.wkccradio.org in Kankakee, IL. To See James “Skyy Dobro” Walker's CD rating system, CLICK HERE
Tickets for the biggest Blues event of the fall season, The 2010 Blues Blast Music Awards are now on sale. To buy yours before they sell out, CLICK HERE.
Held at the brand new Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, confirmed artists Bobby Rush Candye Kane Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Marquise Knox, Shaun Murphy Band, Mississippi Heat, Carl Weathersby, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, Zora Young, Quintus McCormick, Cash Box Kings, Joel Paterson, Jackie Scott & The Housewreckers, Little Ray Neal and Eddie Shaw will all join in to celebrate the Best in Blues Music for 2010.
Sponsorships Needed - This event would not be possible without the help of our sponsors and friends! For info on the best seats and other great benefits, (T- Shirts, commemorative posters, Blues "goodie" bag, your band or company name advertised in the program and more) CLICK HERE. Sponsorships start just $200 for two people!
The Essex Inn in Chicago at 800 South Michigan Avenue is the official hotel for the 2010 Blues Blast Music Awards. The hotel is located one block from Buddy Guy's Legends Fans coming to Chicago for the event can get a 20% discount off by mentioning the Blues Blast awards. Call them at (312) 939-2800 and mention the awards to get this discount on stays during October 27th to 29th for the awards show.
Featured Blues Videos
Blues Blast Discount Advertising Special
Blues Blast Magazine is offering a Fall Ad special. This is our lowest pricing of the year and offers an affordable & effective way to get the Blues word out! This 6 week combo rate of only $180 allows you to affordably add significant impact to your Blues ad campaign. It is a great way to kick up the visibility of you new CD release or Blues event!
Blues Blast Magazine is a great way to promote the Blues. More than 17,000 Blues fans read our magazine each week. They are located in all 50 states and in more than 80 countries. We also get more than 1,000,000 (That's ONE MILLION) hits and more than 25,000 visitors a month on our website. Normal 2010 Advertising rates are $45 a week for Blues Blast magazine ads and website ads are $70 per month.
BUT, for a limited time, you can advertise your Blues event or CD in six issues of Blues Blast Magazine and on our website for a month and a half for less that the cost of a small ad in your local newspaper. To get the special rate of $180 simply reserve your ad space by October 15th, 2010. Ads can be booked to run anytime between September 15, 2010 and March 31, 2011.
So for only $180 your ad can be seen more than 135,000 times by Blues fans who want to know about Blues events and music! Reserve your space today! Space is limited and will be sold on a first come first served basis. Ads must be reserved and paid for before October 15, 2010. To get more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 309 267-4425 today!
|2007 Blewzzy Award Best CD Winner & Blues Blast Magazine Best Song Nominee Release Second CD|
|Steve Gerard & The National Debonaires |
Words Are Like Bullets
|Order at www.blueedgerecords.com plus CD Baby and iTunes|
Blues Society News
You can submit a maximum of 175 words or less in a Text or MS Word document format.
Greater Twin Cities Blues Music Society - Minneapolis, MN
Greater Twin Cities Blues Music Society presents our 4th annual Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame, "Honoring the Creative Best", Performer; Blues Recording; Blues Song; Blues Art and Literature; and Non-performer supportive of the Blues.
The show is Sunday, October 17th Minnesota Music Cafe, 499 Payne Ave., St. Paul. MN. Doors open at noon. Music starts at 1:00, featuring the 2010 "Performer" inductee, Sweet Paulie T., playing with his band The Blues Blasters. Induction ceremony: 2:45-3:45. Music to follow ceremony include: Jeff Ray and "Hurricane" Harold, this year's IBC solo/duo entrants; and Little Bobby and the Storm. Suggested donation: $7.00 More info at: www.gtcbms.org
The Decatur Blues Society - Decatur, IL
The Decatur Blues Society is holding their 1st annual "Blues Challenge" October 16th at the Bourbon Barrel in Decatur, Illinois. The winner of the band & the solo/duo divisions will receive a slot in the 2011 International Blues Competition in Memphis next February. COmplete information is available at www.decaturblues.org.
Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL
BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $3 cover. October 4 - Big Jeff Chapman, October 11 - Too Slim & the Taildraggers, October 18 - Reverend Raven & the Chain Smoking Altar Boys, October 25 - Perry Weber & the Devilles. http://icbluesclub.org/
The West Virginia Blues Society - Huntington, W.V.
The 4th Annual Appalachian Blues Competition is Oct.2, 2010 at Tomahawks Smokehouse & Saloon Sponsored by the West Virginia Blues Society. Winners in Band, Solo/Duo and Youth Division will move on to the International Blues Challenge In Memphis, Tn. Feb 2011. More information is available at www.wvbluessociety.org.
The Friends Of The Blues - Watseka, IL
2010 Friends of the Blues shows - 7 pm , Kankakee Valley Boat Club, October 12, Too Slim & Taildraggers, 7 pm , Kankakee Valley Boat Club, October 26, Perry Weber & DeVilles, 7 pm , Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club. For more info see: http://www.wazfest.com/JW.html
Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA
The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents Davina and the Vagabonds on Sunday October 10 at The Muddy Waters, 1708 State Street, Bettendorf IA. Showtime is 6:00 p.m., and admission is $10, $8 for MVBS members.
Also MVBS Presents Chicago's Mississippi Heat on Friday October 29 at The Lodge in Bettendorf! This will be a fundraiser for the MVBS, including a silent auction with signed guitars, posters, photographs, and more. Doors open at 7 p.m., with the music starting at 8. Admission is $20, $15 for MVBS members. The Lodge will be offering stay-over packages. www.mvbs.org for more info
Windy City Blues Society - Chicago, IL
The Windy City Blues Society (WCBS) is proud to present the 2010 Chicago Blues Challenge (CBC). The winner of this competitions will represent Chicago and WCBS at 2011 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. All proceeds from the CBC events will be used to defray a portion of the cost of sending the winners to Memphis.
Challenge dates include: Thursday, October 14 at Rosa's Lounge – Band Competition Round 1, Sunday, October 24 at the Heartland Café – Band Competition Round 2, Sunday, November 7 at Buddy Guy’s Legends – CBC Finals
For more information about the WCBS and the CBC please visit http://www.windycityblues.org or the WCBS Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter Sites
Featured Blues Review 2 of 5
Chris Bell & 100% Blues - The Devil, My Guitar and Me
Silverbridge Records SBCD 007
Fourteen tracks; 59 mins 19 secs.
Until a couple of hours ago I had never heard of Chris Bell. Perhaps he is below the radar outside the borders of North America and that is a cryin’ shame. Here’s an announcement: albeit that my audience is very far from huge, I intend to push him as much as I can in the UK and I sincerely hope that others will pick him up and promote him, because he deserves it.
If you are one of those who knows little or nothing about this young man, here’s some background. Chris was born in Washington, DC, and raised in Massachusetts introduced to the blues by his parents and his early music education included jazz, rhythm & blues, and gospel music. He started to play guitar when he was fourteen and cites his major influences as B.B. King and Albert Collins as well as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. All those influences are identifiable in his playing. His previous CD, also on Silverbridge. was called ‘Real Bluesman’ and that indeed is what he is.
His voice is husky and will become readily identifiable and his axe work is often incendiary, and nearly always controlled (just the occasional bit of flashy blues rock stuff) but always inventive and skilled.
All of the songs save one (which was written by Greg Allman) are his own work, with some clever lyrics and well thought-out arrangements. Check out ‘My Jimi Hendrix Stuff’, (“You can take what you want but don’t take my Jimi Hendrix stuff”). The delightful ‘John Lee Hooker’ (a wonderful justification of drinking, gambling and other such stuff, all of which is OK because, “John Lee Hooker told me so.”) and the homage to Robert Johnson (or at least the intersection of Highways 61 and 49 in Mississippi) in the title track ‘The Devil, My Guitar and Me’.
Chris plays acoustic guitar, electric slide and dobro as well as occasional bass and occasional harmonica and the pictures in the booklet even show him playing a cigar box guitar! The band (‘100% Blue’: Chuck England - Bass and vocals / Bill Nuti - Drums ) are tight and disciplined.
This CD really deserves to get some recognition through nominations in the upcoming awards season. To his record company and management, as John Luke Piccard said, “Make it so!” and let’s get him to Europe/ England before too long
Reviewer Ian McKenzie lives in England. He is the editor of Blues In The South a monthly flier providing news, reviews, a gig guide and all kinds of other good stuff, for people living and going to gigs along the south coast of England. Ian is also a blues performer www.myspace.com/ianmckenzieuk and has a webcast regular blues radio show on Phonic FM in Exeter (1pm Eastern/ 12 noon Central).
Featured Review 3 of 5
Better Off Dead - Girls, Guns and Money
28 tracks/78 minutes
At a time when many recordings struggle to have three or four memorable songs included, Better off Dead sets the bar high by proving that it is possible to write a batch of strong material. In fact, they give you the equivalent of two discs worth of songs on this exciting new release filled with humor, swinging rhythms and plenty of rockin’ guitar riffs.
Hailing from New Jersey, the band features V.D. King and Don Kenny on guitars and vocals, Mike Kenny on drums, Art Zo on bass and Tim Cassidy on harmonica. Additional musicians include Mike Lattrell and Dona Oxford on keyboards and Jim Davis on saxophone. King wrote all of the songs except for Lyle Lovett’s “God Will”.
The gatefold packaging on the disc does a great job of establishing the musical theme. It sports film noir-style drawings of femme fatales in scanty clothing, guns in hand and ready for trouble. From there, the band takes listeners down a trail of broken hearts, through betrayal and alcoholic haze, taking a hard look at the travails of the human heart.
The chugging rhythm of the opening cut, “Twister in a Trailer Park” finds King warning about the effects of “.. the funnel of love.” over Lattrell’s pumping piano. Next up is “Bad Credit”, a Tex-Mex tribute to the late Doug Sahm featuring an unaccredited accordion part. King it clear that women take a distant second to his cool ride, warning everyone not to mess with his “Yellow Cadillac”, punctuated by a taut guitar solo.
The band rocks hard on “Back to Memphis” before slipping into a slinky rockabilly mode for “Kitten”. On “Mind to Leave You”, King laments that he wants to run away but his woman’s body keeps making him stay. The track has a smoky, late-night feel and Davis wails away on his sax to really capture the mood. Cassidy blows a red-hot harp solo on “Porn Star”, a song dedicated to Candye Kane. The driving pulse of “If I Can Quit Drinkin’” finds King wondering why he can easily swear off alcohol but finds it so hard to give up on a bad woman.
The grinding pace of “When My Troubles Began” is the perfect backdrop for this tale of a cheating woman and the track features some fine slide guitar. Another highlight is the ballad “One More Time”, sporting some great harmony vocals and sounding remarkably like the J. Geils Band from their classic period. “Never Let You Down” is another cut that steadily builds the emotional impact over swirling organ chords and a soaring guitar solo. There are also country-tinged tracks, like the hard-driving trucker tune “500 Miles”. And many people will easily relate to the sentiments expressed on “I Ain’t Gonna Change”, where the singer states he is not some house that can be rearranged.
It is a remarkable achievement that King was able to pen such a large batch of songs in a variety of musical styles and somehow manages to make almost every one memorable in its own way. He does a great job of mixing his fatalistic view of life with his wry sense of humor. The band plays with skill and great enthusiasm throughout the entire recording. Plenty to enjoy on this one and you definitely get a lot of fine stuff for your entertainment dollars. Heartily recommended!!!
Reviewer Mark Thompson is president of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL.
Featured Blues Review 4 of 5
Blues Buddha - I Like It A Lot
Stoopid Daddy Records Ltd.
Upon receiving this record and seeing the moniker Blues Buddha that Tommy Dudley has adopted, as well as his hulking presence on the cover shot, I'm thinking here comes a half-baked novelty blues trip. Au contraire mon ami. When you pick a name like Blues Buddha, you better be good or be prepared to be laughed out of bluesville. Not much blues here per se, but just teaming with easy rolling r&b flavored goodness bolstered by the Buddha's hearty and pleasant pipes recalling the vibe of rockabilly crooner Sleepy LaBeef. I'm SO glad I like this CD, this guy could crush me like a grape.
The interchangeable cast of players provide a tight, solid groove. Nothing earth-shaking, they just know how to fill all the gaps. Keyboard player Scott Staton, the only constant throughout, is a boogie-woogie piano God. He also contributes capable organ when needed. Joe Piteo's shuffle-drumming on the lead-off track "Like I Do" portends the instrumental proficiency that is to follow. Various guitarists execute blues, blues-tinged or rockabilly-meets-blues riffs as required. Dudley's throaty but warm vocals carry off the songs right on the money.
All tunes are band originals that include some catch-phrase lyrics. "Take It To The Bank And Cash It" comes from "Break My Heart" that is kicked off with an intro stolen from Graham Parker's "Heat Treatment" and is used throughout the song to good effect. Buddha's theme song "Buddha Boogie" bounces along nicely, aided by more great shuffle-drumming, rockabilly guitar and boogie-woogie piano. Not the strongest thing here, but works as a theme song. The specter of Sleepy LaBeef appears in Buddha's voice and delivery on the slow-burner "Better At Hello", a lament a lover who has problems staying. "Give And Take" is a seamless r&b workout where the gritty vocals shine. The organ of Scott Staton takes a spotlight turn here too. It's only Buddha's voice backed by barroom boogie-woogie piano on "Trouble". Dang this guy can surely beat the crap out of the keys. A rushed beat provides the tension on the title track, an ode to his girl. The program closes out with the bluesiest song "Low Cotton", with only the backing of guitar, piano and harmonica. The slow blues bemoans his woman troubles to great effect.
It's a nice feeling when you get more than you bargained for. Barring a few minor flaws that can be addressed on the next effort, this Buddha is more fun than.........well......a barrel full of Buddhas. Better production can provide stronger backing vocals and a less artificial horn sound, but this is something I'll have no problem keeping on my stereo for a long time to come.
Reviewer Greg "Bluesdog" Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog's Doghouse at http://bluesdog61.multiply.com
Featured Blues Review 5 of 5
Ghost Blues: The Story of Rory Gallagher & the Beat Club Sessions
Fans of Rory Gallagher will want to get their hands on the 2 DVD set Ghost Blues which presents the true story of the Irish Rocker's life.
Comprised of interviews with brother Donal Gallagher, Slash, The Edge, Cameron Crowe and many others, we get to see it all. Gallagher was a maverick who had no tolerance for record company politics. Certainly it didn't endear him to label executives when he refused to release singles. Being the seventies were competitive enough with hotshot guitar players, Rory got lost in the shuffle and for most teen-agers, he remained off the radar.
Growing restless with the show-band circuit, Gallagher struck out on his own. Forming the short-lived Taste got him some recognition. Especially when the group opened for Blind Faith on their first American tour.
Of course a half-assed management doesn't get you anywhere. Wisely Gallagher disbanded that outfit. So for the next quarter century, Rory went solo. Bassist Gerry McAvoy ended up being a mainstay for twenty years while the rest of musicians came and went.
It was easy for Gallagher to win fans in Europe. In the states he had to settle as an opener for major headliners doing arena tours. Only in the club and college settings, did Rory get to headline and enjoy an interaction with his followers.
Brother Donal Gallagher recounts Gallagher's final days giving this documentary of course a sad closure. The joy in all of this was Rory got streets named after him and plaques put on walls. A strong conviction that a legacy lives on.
The second DVD makes up The Beat Club Sessions from 1971-72. Whether watching Gallagher tear into rockers "Laundromat" or "Used To Be," or playing the solitary blues-man on the Delta fried "Pistol Slapping Blues" is affirmation enough that Rory left his mark. Strange how death immortalizes a musician's music to carry significance.
Reviewed by Gary "Wingman" Weeks
Sean Costello Memorial Fund's Second Annual Benefit Concert
A Blues And Roots Festival
Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 5:00 PM
Tabernacle's Cotton Club
152 Luckie Street, Atlanta, GA
Performances by Burnt Bacon, Candye Kane, Coy Bowles and the Fellowship, Jon Justice, Seth Walker, and Sonia Leigh
A limited number of advance tickets are available at http://www.seancostellofund.org. Tickets are also on sale at http://www.livenation.com (search Sean Costello) and at the Tabernacle Box Office. Advance ticket purchases will include a special DVD of Sean. Ticket cost is $30.00 (plus applicable service fees) in advance and $35 (plus applicable service fees) at the door. Sponsorship information is available at http://www.seancostellofund.org/sponsors.html
The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research is uniquely focused on the needs of musicians with bipolar disorder. The Fund supports and conducts research on bipolar disorder and creativity while promoting awareness, providing education, and serving as a resource for these musicians and their support systems in order to foster acceptance, functioning and health.
For volunteer opportunities, silent auction donations, and more information, please visit http://www.seancostellofund.org
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